Collecting action figures – carded vs loose

by Jon

Figure looking at puzzle

Figure looking at puzzle

Collecting and Displaying Action Figures – Carded vs. Loose Figures

Thousands, perhaps millions of people all over the world collect action figures, and many of these collectors have extremely elaborate displays. One of the biggest arguments when it comes to collecting and displaying action figures is whether or not they should be carded, or in their original packaging, or loose and set up in themed displays, complete with accessories such as vehicles, weapons and furnishings.

Carded Figures

As we all know, when action figures are carded or still in their original packaging, they will be worth much more when it comes to selling and trading, which is something that many collectors do frequently. Obviously, a carded figure is going to bring in more money in a sale than a figure that is loose. Also, the packaging for action figures is loaded with great graphics, and helps to enhance the display.
There are many people who insist on only collecting carded figures, or boxed figures that have never been removed from their boxes, and not just because of the value. These collectors often feel that by opening the package, they are compromising the integrity of the figure, because the packaging has been destroyed.

Loose Figures

Come on, admit it. Deep down inside, you really want to play with your action figures, and set them up in dioramas and other displays. You want to dress them in their costumes, and add their accessories. You want to relive some of the best times of your childhood. This is something we all want, and when you collect loose figures, you can do just that. Also, loose figures take up less space than carded figures, so if you have a small space, you can have more pieces in your collection.

Your loose figures are not going to have as much value as most of your carded figures (with the exception of some rare figures and special figures that collectors want, no matter what). But, the sentimental value is more than enough for collectors who love to play with (or rearrange them, if you don’t want to admit that you are playing) their loose figures occasionally.

A Great Compromise

When it comes to collecting loose and carded/packaged figures, many collectors make a compromise. There are a lot of collectors who collect both carded and loose action figures, and have displays with both, either together or separate. Many collectors even purchase two or more of each figure, so they can have a carded action figure to display, one or more to open and play with/set up, and one or more to trade or sell.

Often, collectors display their loose and carded figures together, so they are shown in and outside of their packaging. This gives the collector the opportunity to show off the action figures to their full advantage, with the packaging beautifully displayed, and the loose figures showing angles that can not be seen on the carded figure.

No matter which type of action figures you decide to collect, this is a hobby that is really fun and rewarding. The more figures you add to your collection, the more fun and addicting collecting becomes. The only problem you are going to have is finding enough money to keep adding to your collections, and finding the space to display everything.

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